My new year’s resolution is to get back into artwork, and especially artwork that’s good enough to be presentable in any project. As I said earlier, I had a bad case of burnout throughout most of 2015 and I’m just coming out of the other end of that. I have some projects that I can work on getting the rust off my drawing arm, including an RPG project, a possible Sword Coast Legends module that is played with a scene book alongside, (The module will have scenes where you need to read parts of the book, when the storyline moves to a cut scene that the module creator can’t implement quite yet) and Æthercoil, my own campaign setting for 5th edition. The main question would be which of the three I should focus on first, because I certainly don’t have the time to do all three at once.
Enter the Dungeon Master’s Guild. I’ve mentioned its launch earlier this weekend. The DM’s Guild is an extension of Drive Thru RPG, but where the Forgotten Realms IP is open to people who want to have their own campaigns, modules, character options, and—this has come into play this week—additional monsters that didn’t get included in the Monster Manual.
That got me to come to my decision on where to get back into my art: The origins for Æthercoil started when I put the telegraph and the train into the Sword Coast. I later started to dabble with other inventions (such as radio, electricity, airships, and other creations in the early age of invention) in a setting that still have an Old School Renaissance feel to it. I intend to have this be put into an original setting, but with the DM’s guild and the expressed permission for me to make ‘an alternate timeline’ to the Forgotten Realms, that made me decide to open up Æthercoil in a beta setting, using the Forgotten Realms as a base.
I’ll be creating a series of documents for the DM’s Guild, which I’ll call “Æthercoil Forgotten Realms.” Consider this to be a beta form of Æthercoil. The first document will be an extensive depiction of many inventions and what they’d look like in the Forgotten Realms. The second one will be chock full of additional player races, classes, backgrounds, and other twists. People who like to play anthro animal characters will like this document. A Third will have additional monsters, I’m especially adding dinosaurs and Kaiju. This might be considered optional for the Realms, but it’ll be a vital part of the finalized version of Æthercoil with an original setting. The fourth and last document will be a couple conversions of a couple modules to give them an Æthercoil feel, along with various other campaign hooks and scenarios that might be of interest.
Once I get all four documents out and people playtest them and send me some needed feedback about it, I’ll do the Compile. That’s when I take these four documents, with all the feedback, and transplant them from the Forgotten Realms to its own campaign world. A world I talked about earlier in this campaign. This will be the official Æthercoil 1.0 which I’ll publish to the general public.
I’m working on the first document right now, which will be where most of my artwork will focus on. Expect to see updates both here and on DeviantART, where I’ll put some artwork as a preview.